AAITG holds Farmer Field Day

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Action Aid International the Gambia Kudang Office on Wednesday held farmer field day on Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture to mitigate effects of climate change on food and seed security.

The event was held in Kerr Laine in Niamina West of Central River Region.

 Dr. Saikou E. Sanyang, Program Manager of Local Rights Program LRP 8 & 11 of Kudang office spoke of the importance the agency attached to building the capacity of farmers to adopt new technology, the concept to increase food security and improve ecosystem.

Mr Sanyang noted that the initiative would contribute to enhance food security and to the development of Gross Domestic Products through food diversification and poverty reduction.

He said Action Aid International the Gambia was complementing government’s efforts in building farmers capacity on sustainable food production and productivity.

Dr. Sanyang said climate resilience and sustainable agriculture field day aimed to expose farmers on adoption of best farming practices and reduce vulnerability on climate vulnerability on the environment.

He stressed that the agency attached great importance on women empowerment on access and control over land to boost food production and productivity.

He disclosed that 77 women groups have registered land transfer at Janjanbureh Area Council and Department of Physical Planning and of which 66.3ha of land is fully registered and owned by women in the three Niamina’s of Central River Region.

He said the initiatives are part of the agency women land rights campaign to empower and boost food production.

 Dr. Sanyang noted that there was need for stakeholders to support women land rights campaign, noting that it would strengthen women capacity as producers to increase production and become economically independent.

Alh. Momodou Wuri Jallow and Mustapha Drammeh, CRSA experts lauded the master farmer, Awa Jobe of Kerr Laine in Dankunku district for her commitment and cooperation on implementing Climate Resilience Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA) to mitigate the effects of climate vulnerability and boost food security.

They noted that sustainable agriculture and food security were the new challenges posed by climate change and its impacts on poor people’s lives.

It enhances food security and increases the preparedness of women and men smallholder farmers to face the impacts of climate change.

The Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA) is an adaptive measure of climate change; it makes farmers cope with risks that are brought about by climate change.

He stressed that climate change has no signs of abating; therefore farmers must change their cultivation practices to cope with the risks they face as well as other expected risks.

 Generally, CRSA enhances resilience building through the use of sustainable farming systems that include the use of early maturing and drought resistant varieties.

Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA) has seven pillars: Gender equity and women’s rights, soil conservation practices, sustainable water management, agro-biodiversity preservation, livelihood diversification, processing, marketing and market access.

Awa Jobe, a contact farmer of Kerr Laine on Climate Resilience Sustainable Agriculture commended Action Aid Kudang office for building her capacity and exposure to best agricultural practices on sustainable ecosystem and environmental management to bring about sustainable food security.

She noted that the piloting of 0.4ha on inter-cropping and agro forestry practices as a mitigation strategy and technique of reducing climate vulnerability and enhancing food security.

The farmer praised Action Aid International the Gambia for providing her with climate resilient crops, cashew seedling, fencing materials and periodic technical back stopping on extension advice and compost making among others.

 Madam Jobe thanked her husband and family for providing her land ownership to exploit her potential on a wide range of agricultural practices to attain household food security and contribute to restoration of lost forest cover.

The farm visited demonstrated planting of cowpea, groundnut and 50 cashew plants as part of climate change mitigation strategy.

Aja Wuday Kongira of Sare Babou Jobe and Bubu Jallow of SareLawbeh, both thanked Action Aid International the Gambia Kudang office for building more public awareness on rights based approach to development, citing women empowerment and sustainable livelihood development in the Niamina’s.

The intervention of the agency has contributed immensely in creating networking on ending gender violence and empowerment of women to participate in the decision making process and livelihood development and by extension contributing to poverty reduction.

 The community representatives stressed the need for religious scholars to complement efforts of Action Aid International the Gambia to educate the masses on role of Islam on Women access and control over land.

Lamin Ceesay, District Extension Supervisor of Dankunku Agricultural District Extension Centre and Jabel Bah Agricultural Village Extension Worker of Pinai, commended the AAITG through Kudang Office and stakeholders for complementing the efforts of department of agriculture in organizing farmer field day on CRSA to create the platform for farmers to promote diversification and adopt climate resilience crops and agro forestry practices to boost food production.

The duo presented a paper on the importance of climate resilient crops like cowpea, and groundnut, whilst they called on the farming communities to be vigilant to preserve high yield seed that would enhance food and seed security.

Famara Conteh of Kudang Office reiterated that his agency strongly believed in building and supporting small scale farmers on food security and combating the negative effects of climate change to improve lives and livelihood development.

He said over a period of time, his office has trained 30 farmers on the concept of Climate Resilient and Sustainable Agriculture, of which 3 outstanding farmers are supported to implement a pilot phase in the Niamina’s.

The field day clearly provides a platform for farmers to learn and share best practises of attaining food security and environmental management.

Agricultural officers advised farmers to always select good soil and follow best agronomic practices, proper land preparation, and quality and improved seed variety and early planting. 

Author: Abdoulie Nyockeh